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In today’s accelerated business world, a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) tool isn't enough. You need contract automation competitive advantages to keep your customers – and employees – satisfied.
While CLM systems could certainly be considered innovative a few years ago, they fail to offer the cost or time savings they once did. According to IACCM, the average cost of creating, negotiating, and finalizing a contract has increased 38% since 2014 – meaning contract automation for legal, sales, and technical professionals is the go-to next step for greater business efficiency.
And that doesn’t consider the roadblocks and delays a linear CLM system has the potential to create, either. Without contract automation, your deals are bogged down every time a single step in the process isn’t completed on time. Not exactly an ideal scenario for modern customers that want their needs to be met on-the-go away from the office.
Chart showing the average cost of contracts / Graph showing time allotted to each part of the contract execution process
By embracing the contract automation competitive advantage, you can actively transform your organization’s customer experience, set your team apart from the competition, and become more agile by establishing an acceptance mindset.
But your business isn’t the only one that benefits from contract automation. You do, too – regardless of which department you work in. It can help legal manage all their legal agreements and help sales to simplify the buyer experience. Finance will be able create approval trees based on unique business rules, and allow HR to streamline communication.
Contract automation for legal professionals means putting extra hours back into their work day. Gone are the tedious, step-by-step processes these teams used to perform for every single agreement!
In the long run, automated contracting creates an environment where legal experts aren’t required to be involved in every individual transaction. Contract automation eliminates the potential for human errors like a rogue salesperson sending out the wrong version of an agreement.
Enabled by clickwrap, a fully automated contract system gives legal teams total control over the terms of engagement for any agreement. These experts no longer need to wait on sales to start editing contracts or product teams to begin implementing changes – through technology-driven workflows, legal can independently manage elements as they evolve.
Simply put, contract automation for legal gives these professionals the opportunity to be the best version of themselves – and to build the safest, most efficient workflows for their business moving forward. By automating and controlling each contracting step, the potential for serious risks is minimized – allowing legal to work more strategically in terms of how it drafts and presents agreements.
For sales, the primary contract automation competitive advantage is being able to execute an agreement quickly and efficiently without being micro-managed by legal. By minimizing the number of touch points and the amount of time they spend on negotiations with new clients, they’re able to drastically increase sales velocity and simplify the buyer experience.
Contract automation, therefore, can many forms, including but not limited to the following:
No matter how contract automation is implementing into your go-to-market environment, the competitive advantage it always creates is faster processes, higher acceptance rates, and more satisfied customers. And – as a business continues to grow – the technology involved makes it possible to scale your customer experience.
Contract automation also helps connect the data contained within your agreements to core operational workflows, streamlining communication whether the sales team is directly involved or not. As soon as a contract is executed, these systems can create invoices and payment terms, as well as automatically notify the people involved when a term is met or when the agreement is nearing a milestone.
In most companies, finance needs to approve every contract’s arrangements – how much every item costs, who’s responsible for approval, when payments are due, etc. But these individual terms can be tough to manually track. The competitive advantage contract automation gives these professionals is intelligence.
An automated solution gives the finance department the ability to create approval trees based on unique business rules. Once an agreement is submitted, the contract automation system contacts each stakeholder precisely how, when, and where these rules dictate.
Contract automation also helps finance oversee and manage a business’ high-revenue deals. By giving these experts the ability to analyze accounts, instantly alert people involved in high-value agreements, and update contract changes in real-time, finance is able to more effectively use its time and resources for tasks that help their organization’s most valuable customers.
Accounts receivable – which is obviously one of the most important functions of any finance department – is also aided by contract automation. Streamlining the payment process makes it easier to track which customers are (and aren’t) paying in accordance with the terms of their agreement. These automated systems also help finance monitor their own vendor costs and payments by tracking each expense and alerting business leaders when charges don’t align with their respective budget.
Thanks to technology, the world of HR has grown immensely more complicated than it used to be. Competition for talent is fierce, and without the right tools and training today’s workers are more likely than ever to move on to new opportunities. But contract automation for HR can help in a variety of ways:
Regardless of your role, contract automation makes you more efficient, your agreements more precise, and your company stand out from its competition. Specifically, clickwrap agreements can help improve workflows and processes in each department, giving your overall business a competitive advantage.
To learn more about different ways to use clickwrap for contract automation across your company, check out our eBook, 101 Ways to Use Clickwrap.